Francois Kammerer has a forthcoming piece in Philosophia responding to my 2015 paper, "If Materialism Is True, the United States Is Phenomenally Conscious". I've drafted a reply to Kammerer.
Abstract: In Schwitzgebel (2015) I argued that the United States, considered as a concrete entity with people as some or all of its parts, meets all plausible materialistic criteria for consciousness. Kammerer (forthcoming) defends materialism against this seemingly unintuitive conclusion by means of an "anti-nesting principle" according to which group entities cannot be literally phenomenally conscious if they contain phenomenally conscious subparts (such as people) who stand in a certain type of functional relation to the group as a whole. I raise three concerns about Kammerer's view. First, it does not appear to exclude the literal phenomenal consciousness of actually existing groups of people, as one might hope such a principle would do. Second, Kammerer's principle appears to make the literal phenomenal consciousness of a group depend in an unintuitive way on the motivations of individuals within the group. Third, the principle appears to be ad hoc.
Many thanks for reader comments on this earlier post, and especially to Francois Kammerer. Further thoughts, concerns, and comments welcome, either in the comments field below or by email to me.